Saturday, April 29, 2006

Obligatory Post From Mindcamp

I'm at Mindcamp. This is my obligatory post from the geek-fest. I'll do a full summary later, but for now this will probably be it, since I don't want to be a Mindcamp cliché.

For those of you reading this that aren't here in the festivities, there's a lot of music playing today at Seattle Center. It's a celebration of Seattle music culture in response to the shootings a few weeks ago. I'm going to make my way over at some point to support the cause and the idea of music at Seattle Center.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Free Cone Day!

Mafia frontYesterday our friends at the Capitol Hill Blog noticed a spike in traffic due to people looking for gelato on the Hill. Well, the more dairy-inclined among us will be happy to know that today is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's. When marketing, free, and sunny days collide, it can't help but to be a good thing.

Here are the closest locations that are participating (send a stern letter to the 1st Avenue and Safeco locations since they're opting out).

Ben & Jerry's Ballard
2032 NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107
(a Ben & Jerry’s PartnerShop)

Ben & Jerry's Kirkland
176 Lake Street South
Kirkland, WA 98033

Ben & Jerry's University Village
2619 NE University Village
Seattle, WA 98105

Friday, April 21, 2006

Hooray for Body Image Obsession!

I don't think people are meant to have that many ab muscles.Earlier this week I mentioned the need to find a new gym. Well, if getting a full body scan wasn't enough motivation, this weekend is the Emerald Cup Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Championships.

I've never been to one of these things, but I'm pretty sure that the chances for finding funnel cake are extremely low. I expect this is one of those events that is really limited to those really into the fitness/bodybuilding lifestyle, since being surrounded by people with no body fat just sounds like a way to really mess with someone's body image. That said, I'm still excited by the idea of seeing people willing to deprive themselves of so much for a particular vision of physical perfection. There's also a Ms. Desert Sun Calendar Model Search, but that won't feature biceps bigger than your head, so that's an also-ran for my attention.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's National High Five Day!

For Borat, every day is High Five Day.The fact that it's 4/20 is of interest to some, but there's an observance today of even more universal value. Today is National High Five Day. I've been partial to trying to resurrect of the thumbs-up, but I'm willing to support the high five cause as well. The fact that this observation was started by students at my alma mater is even better.

So how do you celebrate? This one should be obvious. Go about your normal day, but incorporate some high fives in there. Barista makes you a good cup of coffee? Give 'em a high five. Finish up a meeting early? High fives all around. Puff-Puff-Pass going swimmingly in your 420 celebrating? High five it (but don't fuck up the rotation). You get the idea. Get out there and celebrate. High five!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Reserve Your Corsage

Some moisturizer will clear that right up.This one just came to my attention, otherwise we would have given you more notice. Saturday Rebar is hosting Strike Anywhere's I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight: A Prom Resurrection. No, this isn't a play, they're actually throwing a prom at Rebar. It's ultimately a benefit for Strike Anywhere, a new Seattle theater company, but they're calling for tacky tuxes, fluffy dresses, and all the trappings of a real prom. The difference this time is that there's no need to spike the punch and there won't be anyone around requesting you "leave room for the Holy Ghost."

Seattle Splendor

Portait of the Artist as a Young ManHarvey Pekar is regarded as one of the first autobiographical comics writers. Before the Internet made personal disclosure an instant affair, Pekar was writing about his life, loves, and myriad shortcomings and failures. His caustic wit and constant self-deprecation helped to usher in the current era of independent press, and helped to shape the current comics landscape (and yes, set a template for Livejournalers everywhere). His most famous work is by far American Splendor, which was adapted not only into multiple stage plays, but into the eponymous acclaimed 2003 film.

Tonight Pekar is making an appearance at Town Hall to help promote his latest work, Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story, described as "the tale of a man at odds with the circumstance of his life." Promotional aspects aside, I'm more than willing to pay $5 to see a great talk about his work. The fact that he's entertaining enough to have multiple Letterman appearances (despite being banned from the show) is icing on the cake.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Blinded with Science: DXA Scan

No, this isn't my scan, but it's close enough to get the idea across.  Turns out you can see 'my boys' in my DXA scan, and I'm not sure I'm willing to share that with the whole Internet, even in glowing X-Ray form.Last week I made my way to the University of Washington General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) to get a DXA scan. This wasn't quite a research study, but was part of the training for a DXA technician.

A DXA scan is essentially a full-body X-ray. In the case of a normal X-ray, one set of frequencies is used in order to view skeletal structures, but the DXA scan uses two sets, one stopped by bone, the other by soft tissue. By examining the differences between the amounts absorbed of each frequency, the DXA scan can give a precise measurement of bone mineral density. This scan is primarily used on post-menopausal women to help in diagnosis and tracking of osteoporosis. Young, healthy males aren't prone to issues with bone density loss, so it's a bit harder for technicians to get that experience, putting me in the "desired" demographic for someone learning to do the scan.

After walking the maze that is the UW Hospital, I eventually found the GCRC. They took my measurements (showing that I'm both heavier and shorter than I'd like), and then it was time for the scan. You know how the dentist places your head in order to get a good X-Ray? Imagine that with your entire body. Getting a good DXA scan is dependent on having the body aligned with defined reference points. Once aligned, all you have to do is stay still, feeling a bit like a piece of paper in a copier. There were three tests done, one full body, one for the lumbar spinal area, and the last for the hip. The latter two areas are areas where bone density loss shows up first.

So what did I get out of this experience other than a nice dose of radiation? Data. Pages and pages of data. While bone density measurement is the primary use, a DXA scan also gives other information regarding body compostion, namely body fat percentage. It even breaks that down further into different areas, so I now know that I have body fat symmetry (and where that tends to be held). Interesting stuff indeed. Knowing all of that has given me a motivation for another personal spanning_time event: finding a gym.

Friday, April 14, 2006

In Case You're Looking to Get Sick

This guy feels the same way I do about Flash Makeout.Flashmobs are so 2003. I suppose Seattle hasn't quite given up on the concept though, since a group of people are going to invade the Seattle Center fountain in order to have a grand display of PDA. The assumption could be made that people are bringing their own partners, but they don't really specify, and that lack of specificity makes me very uneasy.

If you insist on supporting this spectacle however, head over to Center Stage after all the lip-locking is done. There's some
breakdancing/Capoeira to be seen all day. That should be a bit less cringe-worthy and will make the trip more worth your while.


spanning_time Around the Internet

In 2010, robots fighting in space will be a spanning_time event.
Here are some spanning_time-worthy happenings from around the Internet. Don't worthy, we're not going all link-crazy on you, but these are definitely worthy of a few seconds of your attention.

Guess Daytona was all booked up: A Drake University student decided to spend part of his spring break in Wal-Mart. "Part" in this case means almost
two-days straight.

One Man's Trash...: An enterprising individual is hoping to trade
one red paperclip for a house. I remember trading candy after Halloween, but this puts that system of barter to shame.

Sex in the MRI: There's nothing cryptic in that description. A group of scientists had pairs of people have
sex in an operational MRI tube so that scientists could get a better idea on how internal organs arrange themselves during coitus. Trust me, if I can find a way to sign up for a study like this one, I'll let you know.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mr. Roboto Gets a Temper Problem

Gigantor: the original battle-botFor the last two years I've managed to drive by Seattle Center in the week before Robothon, and in both cases, I've managed to forget about it before the day of the event. It's still months away before the actual Robothon, but Bot Battles IV on Sunday should provide a similar brand of entertainment. It's robots, and they'll be fighting. There's a double-elimination tournament, a sculpture pageant, blah-blah-blah FIGHTING ROBOTS!

Seattle: Not Quite World-Class

A very big part of Seattle's charm is the fact that it's just big enough (culturally and in size) that major acts and events come through town, but not too big as to feel overwhelming. The downside to that middle territory is that not everything does come through town. Discovered at some point during this week's searching is the US Air Guitar Championships. Even if you haven't clicked on the link yet, you're probably already intrigued. Well, here comes the disappointment. As of right now, there's no stop in Seattle. There are still new dates to be announced, so it's too early to lose hope completely, but it would have been nice for Seattle to be on the initial list. Not to worry, spanning_time is now entering spamming_time, and is sending this idea to promoters in hopes that we can make this happen.

Mindcamp 2.0!!! 2.0 registration opened up this morning. It's already been touched on elsewhere, but it's worthy of mention here as well. Mindcamp was interesting as both a geekfest and as a social experiment of sorts, with curiosity over what does happen when you put a bunch of geeks in a room for 24 hours. The talks were varied, the people were by and large nice and interesting, and the provided food was surprisingly good. It was the first time I had a chance to play the Nintendo DS over wireless with a group as well, while just twenty feet away people were talking about technology in disaster situations. It's that variety that makes this a good event, for the hardcore and more passive geeks alike.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Talk to spanning_time!

Just a small note to let you know that if you've got a tip, have comments or suggestions, or just want to invite spanning_time to lunch, there's a super-exclusive email address you can use. Just point your email to It's been added to the blog template as well so you know where to reach us.

This is OUR Time!

See the truffle shuffle on the big screen!A quote for you:
Don't you realize? The next time you see sky, it'll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it'll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.
Sure, there's Diplo, Sia, and Superfly live Friday, and Krakt and Q-Burns Abstract Message Saturday, but never mind that. Goonies is the perfect midnight movie, a treasure of American filmmaking, and the Egyptian is worthy of a lot of praise for making it the selection for this weekend. I'd say something along the lines of "Do not miss this," but I don't want to come off as bossy, so just take this as a suggestion, ok?